I love my husband, and I love the relationship we have. It is not always perfect, but it is real and most importantly it is ours. I've had friends tell me our cuteness makes then want to vomit. Yes. We are a couple that is that sweet to one another. No, it is not a show we put on for others-that is just how we are together. No, we will not stop. I've had people jokingly tell me I should write about our secret to success. There is no secret, we are just crazy about one another! Okay, so maybe there is more than just that.
Relationships are not easy. We have put a lot of work into what we have today. I'm not saying it has been hard, it is easy for me to love my husband. What I'm saying is it has not always been easy. You can't just expect everything to be perfect all the time. People have moods, interpret things differently, and do not always communicate well. I'm not always the most open person, for example, if I get too overwhelmed I shut down. Despite any obstacles we have encountered we have worked through them together. We are both fully invested in us and making our marriage work. Every day it pays off. I have complete trust in my husband, and I know no matter what he is going to be there for me. Here are what I think are our keys to success:
Strong Foundation (Trust, Respect)
David and I were friends for over a year before we actually ever met face to face. It was the kind of friendship where we weren't trying to impress one another, and I feel like we were pretty open and honest with each other from the start. We knew each other's backgrounds, interests etc. When we actually met, things proceeded pretty fast. We were engaged and lived (yes, in sin) together for a year before the wedding. During this time, all kinds of crazy stuff happened. I had some family drama going on, we drove (and he moved) from the east coast to the west coast, we house sat in California, we moved to Oregon, I graduated from college, David changed jobs, our nephew was born, we got married, and bought a house (we were waiting to hear we got the house during our honeymoon). That was just in our first year together. It was a lot of change for both of us and I think he handled it better than I did, but he was always there for me when I needed him.
Along with sticking through tough things together we make sure we are honest with one another. From the start, David's one main request was that I be truthful with him even if I didn't think he'd want to hear it. We don't lie to one another, or keep things (except the occasional fun surprise) from one another. Knowing that, trust and respect just sort of fall into place and we have this really solid foundation for our relationship.
Relationship Rules (No Bites)
This was another thing we established pretty early on. Along with the not lying, we also agreed not to call each other names, or be physically violent with one another. When we have the occasional fall out/argument we refrain from name calling, or any kind of hitting/swatting/angry touching. I will admit, I can shriek like a howler monkey and sob like a crazy lady, but I don't call my husband names-we stick to those rules. At the end of a fight, the only regrets we have is that the other was hurt/misunderstood and things escalated. No hurtful things are said that can't be taken back.
It may seem silly, but it is really important not to hold grudges or let things add up against one another. I'm not saying we don't get mad at one another, we just don't hold on to things to use against each other later. We work it out and then let it go. There is no upper hand in our marriage. We also don't play the "you got that so I get this" game. We make sure we have everything we need, and things we want. It's never a competition.
Talk to Each Other, Be Interested In Each Other (Be a Package Deal)
Seems easy enough, right? When I say talk to each other I mean talking about EVERYTHING. We talk about our work day, we talk about silly stuff we saw on the internet, we talk about things we are working/want to be working on. We giggle together, and are silly together, and drink wine while looking at the ocean together. We talk, even if it's just for a minute, at lunch time just to say hi. We text if it is a rough day and need a friendly word. When he is out of town for work I send him silly pictures, he sends some back. We are never out of touch, we just are not together as much as we would like to be. We do not take separate vacations. We are a package deal.
We take interest in what the other is interested in even if it is not something we are into. David has gone sewing/stamping shopping with me more times than I can count, and I go wood/workshop shopping with him any time he needs supplies. If it is important to him, it is important to me. He does the same thing.
Don't Give Up
When things get tough don't just give up. You relationship is something you have to nurture-both of you. If you just give up or ignore things you don't want to deal with they don't go away. You have to learn to work through disagreements and hard topics like expenses and what to do for date night or you are always going to struggle and the same issues will keep cropping up. How else will you learn how to be there for one another during the hard times? If you do not feel comfortable talking about everything with your spouse, how will you survive the things that are really hard to talk about like loss of a job, or a family member? Those are times when you need someone to hold you and tell you it will get better. I know without a doubt I have that with David.
How I Look at Marriage
I married David because I wanted to spend the rest of my life with him. I want to do everything with him by my side, and I want to be by his. Our marriage is a partnership, where we are both equal contributors to the partnership. Sure, we have our ups and downs, and misunderstandings and disagreements. But ultimately we love and respect one another. David is without a doubt my best friend, and I consider myself to be one very lucky lady to have him as my husband.